Outside of The Law: 6 Biker Movies

Tuesday, January 24 by Steve Silverman

burn-notice-friends-and-enemies_fiona riding motorcycle.jpg

Biker movies have a certain appeal whether you ride or not. If you do, you want to see what kind of equipment the bikers are using, how they ride, who they ride with and what kind of purpose they have. If you don't ride, you probably don't understand what motivates the motorcycle riders and the gangs they travel with. You have a curiosity to learn more and some of the most memorable motorcycle movies will at least offer some insight into these questions.

 

 "C.C. and Company" (1970)

This was a vehicle for New York Jet quarterback Joe Namath to showcase his looks and appeal on the big screen instead of the football field. Namath played motorcycle mechanic C.C. Ryder, who joins an outlaw biker gang called the Heads. When the other gang members start hassling journalist Ann McCalley (Ann-Margaret), Ryder comes to her defense. As tensions mount between Ryder and the rest of the gang, Ryder must race his rival in the gang to win Ann's freedom.

"Running Cool" (1993)

Bone and Bear are two tough South Dakota bikers who head down to South Carolina to help buddy "Ironbutt" Garrett hold on to his land. While the townspeople in Buford, South Carolina are disgusted by the out-of-town bikers and want to run them out of town, Bone and Bear help Garrett raise the money so he can hold on to his property.

"Easy Rider" (1969)

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One of the greatest motorcycle movies of all-time. This film starred Peter Fonda as Wyatt and Dennis Hopper as Billy. They are two bikers who do just what they want and live life to the fullest. They don't care about society's rules, they do what they want when they want. The film reflected the era in which it was made and featured the classic song "Born To Be Wild."

"The Great Escape" (1963)

McQueen In the Great Esacpe

Another classic, this film featured actor Steve McQueen as a prisoner of war in a German camp during World War II. McQueen's character Hilts escapes from the Germans on a motorcycle and his captors attempt to chase him down. McQueen did his own riding in the movie and performed all his own stunts, except for one in which his character leaps from a barbed wire fence. This film is based on a true story that also became the basis for the TV series "Hogan's Heroes".

"On Any Sunday" (1971)

On any Sunday

If you don't ride motorcycles, you may be perplexed why anyone would risk life and limb to do so. This documentary directed by Bruce Brown does just that. It asks lifelong motorcycle riders why they do it and it gets their answers as well as memorable images of their journeys.

"The Wild One" (1953)

Brando in the Wild One

This film stars Marlon Brando as motorcycle gang leader Johnny Strabler. The gang moves into a small town and intimidates the local population. When law enforcement tries to slow the gang down, the gang continues to run roughshod over the community and do as it pleases. This film went a long way in building the image of lawlessness among motorcycle gangs.